We’ve already got our bags packed in anticipation of this weekend’s End Of The Road Festival. While we can’t wait to see old favourites like Wilco, King Gizzard, Panda Bear & Sonic Boom and Cass McCombs, here’s End Of The Road founder Simon Taffe’s six picks to seek out at this year’s festival… and don’t forget you can read the full line-up here.
It’s perfect indie-pop from Australia: really catchy songs, great-sounding vocals. I don’t usually like music like that, but they make it work. There’s an honesty to their songwriting that feels very personal. They’re one of the new bands I got most excited about last year, and we booked them to come over before they were signed. I think this will be their first UK trip.
INFINITY KNIVES & BRIAN ENNALS
They made my album of the year last year [King Cobra]. It’s bedroom hip-hop but it sounds big, and the lyrics are amazing – just so funny and interesting. Honestly, I think it’s up there with Kendrick Lamar’s first couple of records. The album has a lot of variation, from late-’80s/early-’90s hip-hop to soul and gospel, and some of it even sounds like Anohni! I’m excited to see where they go. I feel like they’re going to write a big hit.
She just gets better and better with every record. There’s something so personal and intimate about her songwriting which you can relate to, a bit like a female Jonathan Richman. Some of it reminds me of Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, or The Beatles’ classic songwriting. There’s a great song on her latest album  about going to see a Magnetic Fields gig. She’s a real storyteller.
JOHN FRANCIS FLYNN
I saw him on The Boat stage last year and he really blew me away, so I went up to him straight away and he became the first act booked for this year. I guess he’s in that same world as Lankum. It’s almost as if Portishead were doing Irish folk music – he has these trancey, drone elements, but it really works with the traditional Irish sound. He’s made it his own in a very original way.
75 DOLLAR BILL
They were booked to play before the pandemic, and we’ve finally got them playing this year down at The Boat. It’s a massive sound that they somehow create, just the two of them. I guess it reminds me of post-rock bands like Tortoise, but even more uplifting: sometimes it’s jazz, sometimes it’s quite folky, sometimes it’s metal! And it’s really upbeat, almost like dance music. I loved the records, but I didn’t realise how danceable they could be until I saw them live.
THE MARY WALLOPERS
This is a band that I shouldn’t really like, but I love them, they’re infectious. Obviously, they remind me of The Pogues – it’s traditional Irish folk music played by a bunch of punks with mullets. It’s just so uplifting, I think it’ll be an amazing live show. I saw them play twice at Glastonbury and it was crazy. Even in the tiny Crow’s Nest, people were smashing into each other and crowd-surfing. They bring the party.
End Of The Road 2023 takes place at Larmer Tree Gardens near Salisbury on August 31 – September 1. To get you in the mood for this year’s festival, why not remind yourselves of the highlights from last year’s edition…